Chapter 34:

Old Preparations

Couple That Can't Touch

School resumed after a very interesting week. Not only did I lose in the first seconds of the kite battle on Yu-tan's birthday, but I also went on my first ever date with Koji. Thinking about it made me wonder if it really happened or if it had been a dream. My heart raced when I remembered the embarrassing things we did and said, but it was fun.

It was going to be the first time we had spoken to each other in person after the date. There was no reason to feel nervous, but I did. Luckily—or unluckily—I didn't run into him at the entrance.

The morning went by quickly. I hadn't expected to miss school so much, but listening to the teachers and talking to my classmates made me realize how much I did. Thinking that would've been a crime for Suzuka from the past.

The bell chimed. Hisa and Rem went to the cafeteria as usual, while Kawahara and I headed to the garden. We arrived, but Koji was nowhere to be seen. Kawahara leaned on the fence and started using her phone. We hadn't talked much that day.

"How was your week?" I asked her.

"It was the usual," she replied, staring down at her phone.

"And what's the usual?"

"Staying at home. I went outside with my parents once. Although I must admit that thinking about the body-swapping made it more fun."

"I'm glad to hear that. Did you find anything?"

She shook her head. "Negative. I don't have enough data to work with. And I'm not a prodigy like my mother to solve it with this little bit of information."

"Come on, don't be so hard on yourself. I doubt she had to research something supernatural like swapping bodies when you touch someone."


Almost? Just what does her mom do?!

"Still, we haven't experimented much. You just said it yourself. Speaking of which, didn't you find an assistant?"

She nodded. "I was waiting for Araki Koji-kun to tell both of you, so I guess I should do it now."


"Hello," Koji greeted behind me.

My body jumped on its own just like my heart did. I was able to avoid touching him, but I pushed Kawahara a bit with my back.

"Sorry, Kawahara! Koji, why did you do that?!"

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to," he apologized.

Is he smirking?

I sighed. "It's fine. How long have you been behind me?"

"Only a few seconds. I didn't want to interrupt you."

"I see. Well, be more careful next time," I scolded but smiled afterward.

Weird. I thought I was going to be nervous. I only feel happy.

"I will. Kawahara-san, what did you want to tell us?"

Kawahara stopped smirking when we looked at her. She pushed her glasses up.

"Let's meet after class at the park. We must continue experimenting and I want to present my new assistant to you."

"Sure," I replied. "But why not tell us who's your assistant now?"

"He might change his mind before our meeting. I don't want to risk it."

Risk what? I'm sure she just wants to hype us up over it.

"If you say so."

"We have club activities after class today and I can't miss them. I need to practice my cooking," Koji said.

"Right. With the fair coming, we'll be very busy these next two weeks," I added.

"I know that. I meant to meet after the activities," Kawahara replied.

"After? It'll be dark already. I don't want to go home that late."

"I didn't think of that."

"We can drive you," Koji suggested.

"Oh. Are you sure?" I asked. "I don't want to bother you or Yoshimura-san."

"It's fine, you won't. It will even be fun."

"Okay. Let's meet after school today, then."

Suddenly, Shimamura-sensei—Koji's class P.E. teacher—stood next to me.

"Hey, Suzuka," she grinned.

"Hi, Shimamura-sensei!"

It had been months since I talked to her or even saw her up close. She was constantly busy with classes and advising the Swimming Team. Although I was only on the Volleyball Team during my first year, I was good friends with all the P.E. teachers. But I hadn't talked to them much after my ankle incident since we didn't need to talk anymore.

"Do you need something?"

"Actually, yes," she replied. "Come with me."

"Sure. I'll come back if I can," I told Koji and Kawahara.

As Shimamura-sensei and I walked through the bridge towards Building A—where all classrooms were located—Hisa and Rem ran into us, holding their lunch.

"Shimamura-sensei. Are you taking Su-chan to detention?" Hisa joked.

"Something like that."


"I just need her to do something quickly," she continued. "Don't worry, I won't borrow her from you for too long."

"Sorry. Chat with Koji and Kawahara until I return," I added. "But don't bad-mouth me!"

"Come on, Su-chan. Do you think we would do something like that?" Hisa replied.

"Jokingly, but yes."

"Fine, we won't. See you in a bit."

"Have fun!" Rem said.

They walked away and so did we. Once we reached the building, we started climbing the stairs. Only then did Shimamura-sensei talk.

"How have you been, Suzuka?"

I didn't expect that question, but I contently replied. "I have been great."

"I can tell."

"You can?"

She nodded. "Although you kept smiling after breaking your ankle, only now can I feel that you're sincerely smiling."

"Really? But I never tried to fake it."

"Then it's a good sign, don't you think?"

"I guess," I giggled, not knowing what else to say.

We reached the second floor and kept walking upstairs.

"Did something happen recently?" she asked.


"It's Araki-san, isn't it?"

"H-How did you know?!"

She laughed. "The rumors are everywhere. And I teach him. He does seem your type."

"People keep saying there are rumors but I never hear them—Wait, he does?"

She laughed louder. "We are here."

We had arrived on the third floor and we were standing next to my classroom.

"Oh. What did you need me to do?"

She reached for a poster between her arm and torso. I hadn't even noticed she was holding many posters. I could've helped her.

"Hang this on your classroom's board."

"Sure. That's all?"


"But you're here too. Did you really need my help?"

"Don't be so dense. Let's just say I missed you. A little," she smirked.

I stared at her for a brief moment before smiling. "I missed you too, Shimamura-sensei!"

It was nice knowing that she was still worried about me. Probably everyone was, but I hadn't thought about it. I even felt bad for making them worry.

"This is getting corny. Go hang the poster up," she said.

"Sure," I giggled. "Can I ask you something?"

She nodded. I stepped closer to her and rose up on my toes a bit to whisper in her ear.

"How's everything going with Yasue-sensei?"

I walked back from her. She merely stared at me for a few seconds with no emotion. Then she pulled me to the side, near the hallway windows.

She sighed. "Nothing changed."

"What? Why?!" I murmured.

"Because I don't know what else to do."

Although she's very confident and talented, even she struggles with stuff like this.

"But now's not the time to talk about it. Suzuka, let's chat more often."

I nodded. "Sure!"

After smiling at each other, she walked away. I stepped into the classroom through the door at the back and hung the poster on the board with a pin. Then I headed back to the garden with everyone. They were chatting about the Club Fair when I arrived and we kept chatting during the rest of the break. We even talked about body-swapping—which was nice being able to do that with Hisa and Rem around. I expected Narumi or Tsuga-san to interrupt us at any moment, but they didn't.

The break ended and classes resumed as normal. Half of the afternoon passed and we headed to our clubs. We had already made some preparations for our concert, but we were still unsure of what to do. Unable to decide, we let Tomoki-san take the lead—as we usually did.

Everybody sat down. Some even on the floor, since we didn't have enough chairs. Tomoki-san stood in the middle of the room.

"As you can see, this room can barely fit all of us and the instruments. We must take this opportunity to impress everyone and make the principal give us a bigger place. And this is my idea on how to do just that; a band battle."

Everybody uttered in amazement. I was surprised. Even some adrenaline started running through my veins. That's not a bad idea at all.

But Natsuhiko-sensei quickly interrupted. "That's a great suggestion, Tomoki-san. However, I would prefer if we didn't have to compete against each other."

"That's totally understandable, but please think of it as a show."

"A show?"

"We can go ahead with an orchestra as we usually do. However, do first-year students enjoy that? Some might, but I would say only a few. While a band battle will give us the flexibility to show multiple genres and entertain them with a competition."

Natsuhiko-sensei stayed silent for a moment. "I must admit that sounds quite appealing."

"Of course, if someone has another idea, we should hear it."

He said that, but no one replied. We just looked at each other, waiting for someone to say something.

"If no one has another suggestion, we shall proceed with Tomoki-san's," Natsuhiko-san said. "Does everyone agree?"

Most of us nodded, while some others didn't move or say anything. It was obvious they didn't like Tomoki-san, but I didn't understand why. He always heard everyone and helped them.

"Perfect! Tomoki-san, please go ahead with the organization."

Long story short, we had the freedom to split into five bands. What I didn't expect was to end up in the same band with Narumi and Tomoki-san. Two long weeks awaited me.

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